Goodbye chef, hello mixologist. Private cooking lessons have been replaced by exclusive in-home cocktail training for serial entertainers, newlyweds, and small groups of stay-at-home moms and CEOs. Yes, I am here to report that people have been seduced by the current mixology craze and are determined to recreate, at home, the drinks that bars and restaurants are expertly pouring.
Before you hire your personal mixologist to lure out your inner cocktailista, be clear about what you'd like to accomplish. Here are a few suggestions to consider before you book your special event:
- Shop For Yourself Although you may be tempted to pay the mixologist to shop for and without you, I recommend that you tackle the grocery list on your own or tag along while she shops on your dime. When it's time to throw your first cocktail party as an "expert," you'll feel a lot more comfortable wondering the aisles of your local liquor emporium if you've already done it with a pro.
- Choose a Theme No, not costumes (never ever ever). Decide whether all of the cocktails will be rum based, holiday themed, skinny drinks, etc. It will give the evening a focus and leave guests feeling confident in one, small area of mixology.
- Invite a Small Group Squash your desire to invite the entire office because in education, small class size is key. Too large of a group will change the classroom setting to a party atmosphere which the teacher will not be happy about. Figure out how many people can comfortably stand around your kitchen counter, table, or island, and go from there.
- Focus on the Culinary An evening like this has nothing to do with intoxication and everything to do with taste. Prepare your guests for an adventure in the culinary arts and an amazing new approach to the cocktail.
- Ask for a Menu Your guests can't exactly take home the leftovers but they can leave with a copy of the evening's menu. Ask the mixologist to prepare individual cards with each drink name, the ingredients, and the step-by-step directions to give out as a parting gift. Your friends will be eternally grateful for one little slip of paper.
- Do-It-Yourself If a private tutorial isn't in the budget, our book sure is! Chapter 13, titled Cocktail Party 101, will walk you through the steps of shopping for, setting up, and planning out a fabulous soiree. Assign some friends a few bottles to buy, then teach yourselves the tricks of the trade. And when you create a bunch of award-winning, tantalizing new cocktails, we've got just the blog for you to brag all about it.